The Messy But True Stories That Inspired The Pursuit of Love

If there was ever a family to inspire books, TV shows and movies, it makes sense that it would be the Mitfords.

Though they’re relatively unknown in the United States, the aristocrats are the English equivalent of the Kennedys in the sense that they’re famous, rich and no stranger to family drama. Moreover, the Mitfords were well-acquainted with Britain’s elite in their heyday, running in the same circles as influential figures like Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Adolf Hitler, though some distanced themselves from the Führer for obvious reasons.

Unlike the Kennedys, the Mitford men were largely outnumbered by their female counterparts, with Lord and Lady Redesdale welcoming six daughters and only one son.

Those six Mitford daughters—Nancy, Pamela, Diana, Unity, Jessica and Deborah—would go on to become the subjects of tabloid fodder, as one does when they ruffle as many feathers as they did. But rather than bristle at their status, the women turned their misfortunes into actual fortunes by writing books and becoming celebrities in their own right.